I used to have an old Enfield retro gents bike, which I rode to the station from home. So many times I came back and it had suffered minor acts of vandalism while locked up.
Then one night I got home pissed, so walked home leaving it chained up. Big mistake. Came back in the morning to find it reduced to metal spaghetti. Wheels buckled, kicked to cr*p, the whole thing. Nice eh?
So I thought, right I’m going to get me a folder. I immediately knew I wanted something between the A-Bike and a Brompton. Of course it didn’t take me long to find the Strida, and it was love at first sight.
I decided to jump in with one foot, and get a second hand one from ebay. I didn’t really know much about the differences between the versions then, so I ended up with Strida 2. Well worn, but working for £97. Not bad. First, I hated it, then little by little, I began to love it. Once you get used to being a walking/riding novelty, it’s ok.
Ok, that is, unless you have an accident. Riding along, feeling chipper, until some tw*t pulled out at a round-about. So of course I pulled the brakes and soon found myself sliding face down along the wet road. Can you guess? The ball came out of the socket under braking, and it nearly killed me.
Lesson 1: DON’T BUY A SECOND HAND STRIDA 2.
As I wheeled my now twisted and forlorn steed gingerly back home, I wondered what my best route back to Strida heaven would be. I’m not doing too badly financially, but my wife is pregnant, and in this climate, I am hesitant to spend £400+ on a bike.
Searching ebay again, I came across a “Strida 5 style bike” which turned out to be a black Yongkang Strda. I did a lot of looking and finally came across some personal accounts of these rip-offs which encouraged me to take the plunge and part with the £120 to get my hands on it.
Well I’ve had it for a while now, and it’s pretty damn good, I have to say. I make no comment about the morality or legality. I’m not here to discuss that.
Lesson 2: Not all fakes are bad.
I have to say, I read a lot about this subject here and elsewhere and I would like to say that some people, including MAS himself, made a number of generalised comments about ‘fakers don’t care’ this, and ‘build quality’ that, but I’m here to call BS. Not all genuine articles are better quality, and not all purveyors of forgeries and copies are morally bankrupt.